Waldorf Astoria Chicago
What We Love
- Rolling up to the hotel in the heated-cobblestone porte-cochere
- Steps from Chicago’s best boutiques; Marc Jacobs set up shop on the ground level
- Most guestrooms and suites have gas fireplaces
What To Know
- The hotel is formerly the Elysian; Waldorf Astoria took over the property in February 2012
- The hotel is hot wedding spot year-round
- Adults Only
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The stunning Lucien Lagrange-designed tower just off of Chicago’s tony Oak Street and the 188-room Elysian hotel within it upped Chicago’s luxury ante to dazzling new heights when it opened in 2009. The venerable Waldorf Astoria brand took over the property in February 2012 leaving the glam interiors as-is while adding the brand’s signature service. The hotel has Parisian predilections starting in grand porte-cochere, which is heated to ensure guests’ uninterrupted comfort when the city’s famous winters kick in and continuing in the lobby where the centerpiece is a sunburst chandelier that’s a replica of a Chanel brooch. Guestrooms are all platinum and champagne with glossy black pops and plenty of gold. Fireplaces, furnished terraces and Carrara marble bathrooms with massive tubs complete the package.
In the Area
The Waldorf’s location just off of Oak Street puts you a stone’s throw from Chicago’s best boutique shopping by the likes of Barneys New York, Hermès and Prada. You’re also within walking distance of the swank Michelin-starred Spiaggia with decadent Italian fare and stunning city views. Continue your neighborhood food tour with to-die-for pastries from Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter and sidewalk sipping at the Purple Pig whose theme is swine, wine and cheese. Just don’t be afraid to venture from the Gold Coast to head over to the West Loop’s Girl and the Goat. Top Chef Stephanie Izard’s menu of inventive small plates includes escargot ravioli with bacon and tamarind-miso sauce, and roasted beets with green beans, white anchovy and avocado crème fraîche.
How to Get There
Stayed at this hotel a number of times and it continues to impress as one of the best in Chicago. Rooms are generally immaculate, smell great and have a great layout, especially with the fireplaces.
Front of house staff is super nice and welcoming. Great door guys, front desk and concierge staff. All A+.
Housekeeping is pretty good except they should get better about honoring requests. Twice I asked for turndown service, only to discover it was not completed upon my return home. Various cleaning supplies were left in the room some days. Just a bit hit or miss all around.
Guest common areas are great. My one suggestion would be to improve the lobby area a bit. They have this awkward layout with a strange coffee bar just off the main foyer, which has gone through a few concepts over the years. However, the trouble is that it is unclear whether this space is part of the lobby or a separate restaurant, requiring you to purchase something to utilize the space. Meaning, if you are waiting for your Uber or a friend, or just want to relax in the lobby for a minute, there are two chairs in the lobby to sit, otherwise there is nothing. It would go a long way if they introduced some diversity to their furniture in this cafe and instead of all standard 2 and 4 top tables, add some couches, comfy chairs, etc. This would make the whole place feel much warmer and encourage you to want to spend time there.
My last quibble is with the switchboard operator Ramona (sp?). She was fine when I was an in-house guest but when I needed to speak to the front desk before I checked in, she was cold rude and when they didn't answer on the first attempt basically said "sorry." No "allow me to try them again" or "can I have them call you back?" Really unbecoming of such a nice place.
Everything about this property is superb. From location, to food and friendliness of staff. I booked this through Walgreens for a corporate event but I would definitely come back. The Michael Mina Restaurant was an added bonus!
Charged multiple times incorrectly for the same stay. Fitness center did not open when advertised and only opened at all after having to go down to the lobby to involve the desk clerk. Poor room service.
Booked hotel through Amex Platinum, about 45 days prior to arrival. The person checking us in acknowledged that we were Amex. He went down list of perks, except he skipped over the upgrade upon BOOKING portion. Needless to say , no upgrade was given. We had booked a Waldorf suite and when questioned said they had changed the names of the various rooms. Who knows what the name of the suites are today? We were offered a gold coast suite for a mere $200 additional per night. They knew the name of that suite. We were there 4 nights, so for another $800 I could get upgraded.
Room was ok except the bathroom sliders would not close and shower was uncontrollable as far as the flow. I say ok, but in reality for $400+ a night it should be perfect.
Housekeeping texted me one afternoon as to when we would be leaving the room. I told them 2PM. We left at 1:45 and returned at 4:30. Room not made up, we would be leaving in the next hour and please make up room then. We returned round 1AM from a friends home, only to find no toilet paper in bathroom and roller from the holder on the floor. I had to go to front desk at 1 AM for a roll of paper. I can only assume she forget and never returned.
Finally, with AMEX you get breakfast for each day. We went to the restaurant on Sunday only to find we needed a reservation since it was Fathers day. We could go to the coffee shop n the lobby, which we did.
I have stayed here 2 other times and think it is now time to try another hotel.
I have to say we are very glad we stayed here. The service was spot on, the room clean and stocked with everything we needed, and everyone was very nice and ready to help in any way.... The only improvement would be for the bar food... the fries with the burger were very greasy, and the flat bread was very bland and dry. Even still, we will stay there again. Special thanks to Mr. Corrie for making sure all went well... :)